Chipper Jones is retiring after the season, making this year the farewell tour for what’s probably been a hall-of-fame career. Evidently that meant Chipper, one of four Braves all-stars, was required to give a stirring pregame speech to inspire NL team (because, as you know, the All-Star Game matters!). Gave a speech, he did. Stirring and inspirational, it was not. Here’s video of the speech, and as you’ll learn, it was a miracle the NL still managed to get out to an early 8-0 lead:
Articles tagged: Chipper Jones
Bryce Harper is believed by many to be the favorite to win the annual MLB All-Star Game Final Vote out of the National League. His steepest competition will be Chipper Jones, who has said that this will be his last major league season. Chipper has made seven All-Star teams in his 19-year career, and many believe number eight would be the perfect way to cap off his Hall of Fame-worthy career. Harper is one of those people.
“I think a Hall of Famer should be able to go to the All-Star game his last year,” Harper said when asked about the Final Vote according to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. If I was going to vote, I’d go vote for Chip.”
The other three finalists from the NL are Aaron Hill, Michael Bourn, and David Freese. Barring an amazing turn of events, either Harper or Chipper will take the honors.
The moment the Nationals called Harper up to the bigs, most of us were more excited to see the ridiculous things he would say and do to make headlines rather than his superstar abilities. To his credit, Harper has kept his mouth shut when he has to and said all the right things. The clown question incident was completely warranted. His comments about Chipper are another example of a series of moments that could possibly indicate that the rookie gets it.
H/T Eye on Baseball
Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski-US PRESSWIRE
With the Braves beginning a four-game series in Cincinnati on Monday evening, the Reds have decided to pay tribute to one of their franchise’s most famous opponents. At the end of the season, Chipper Jones is all but certain to call it a career. When he does, it will only be a matter of time before the seven-time All-Star and 1999 NL MVP makes his way to Cooperstown. Since this is likely the last time the Reds will ever host the Braves third baseman, they have decided to pay tribute to him with a special emblem on the side of the bases.
According to the Braves official Twitter account, one of the bases will be presented to Chipper, another will go to the Braves Hall of Fame and the third will go to the Reds Hall of Fame. Teams don’t typically give opponents this type of treatment, but Jones is hardly just any opponent. He’s an 18-year veteran who made it through the steroid era with a clean name. If anyone deserves to be presented with a custom base in a visiting ballpark, it’s Chipper.
Thanks to LBS reader Dave for the tip
The Braves overcame a six-run deficit on Saturday to beat the Rockies, 13-9, thanks largely to a five-RBI game by Chipper Jones. But Jamie Moyer provided some added drama to the contest when he accused Jones of relaying signs to batters at home plate. Jones took exception to Moyer’s allegations, as both players were seen exchanging choice words during the fifth inning.
“That was all on Jamie Moyer,” Jones said, per MLB.com. “He woke a sleeping giant tonight. He started chirping and it went all downhill from there. He accused me of relaying a sign down 6-2 with a 3-0 count to Brian McCann. I have never relayed a sign to anyone while I’m on second base.
“You question our integrity, that’s wrong. I’ve never accused him of doctoring a baseball. I’ve never accused him of over-milligraming, nothing. That’s [garbage] and he woke us up. I didn’t see any signs on the 900-foot homers that were hit.”
(Ed. note: We have no clue what the hell “over-milligraming” is. We suspected Chipper created the word out of thin air, but a commenter says it has to do with PED use.)
“I don’t know what the problem was,” Jones added. “I was literally having a conversation with the shortstop when he stepped off and said that. I don’t know why he’s so paranoid. But to be honest with you, every pitch he throws is 78 [mph]. So it’s not like we really have to relay signs.”
Shots fired! But wait: Much like in the Saturday’s game, when Chipper got going, he got going. Here’s more from his postgame Moyer harangue, via Big League Stew:
Players like Chipper Jones don’t come around very often. Jones is entering his 19th full season of an extremely productive MLB career — all of which has been spent in Atlanta. Just a couple months away from his 40th birthday, Chipper’s production has dropped off a bit over the past couple seasons. He was, however, one of the most consistent players in baseball from 1995 to 2007. What’s even more impressive is that he did it all in the heart of the steroid era and kept his name clean. That doesn’t mean the thought never crossed his mind.
“I mean, definitely,” Chipper said Monday when asked if he ever considered using performance-enhancing drugs. “You see peers doing it. You see contemporaries on other teams doing it and putting up (big) numbers. But at that point in my career, while I didn’t have kids yet, and I thought, I don’t want to jeopardize their lives (with the backlash) one day.”
Jones said he was even confronted by his father several years ago at the height of the steroid era. He says was proud to be able to tell his father he never went down that road and has played the game the right way.
“I can just imagine what my dad would’ve said if he found out that four, five or six years out of my career he knew that I was cheating,” Jones said. “He told me as much. He said, ‘Please tell me you never did that.’ I said, ‘I never did.’ He said, ‘I can’t think of anything that would disappointment me more than finding out that you did something like that.’ I said, ‘Well, you don’t have to worry about that.’”
The soon-to-be Hall of Famer said he believes only about 1 percent of the league’s players are using performance-enhancing drugs now but that his guess would be around 20 percent were using them at the peak of the steroid era. Anyone who claims to have never considered using PEDs during the Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire era is either has an amazingly strong will or is lying. At the moment, Chipper is a friendly reminder that there were guys during the 90s who didn’t cheat to succeed.
H/T Daily Pitch
The day after umpire Phil Cuzzi allowed Cameron Maybin to walk on three pitches (eventually leading to the only run of the game), All-Star Chipper Jones let loose on poor calls in baseball. Chipper was upset that he struck out to end the Braves-Orioles game Sunday on two poor calls by home plate umpire Mark Ripperger. He ripped the umpiring after the 5-4 loss.
“It’s always frustrating when you’re not allowed to do your job,” Jones said. “But I’ve said time and time again, the officiating in this league is substandard. For the most part.”
“If a guy’s not doing his job, I’m going to say something. If I get fined, I get fined. I don’t care. I’m a competitor. … I know they’re balls. I’ve been here 18 years. I know when a guy’s trying to pitch around me.”
Chipper’s absolutely correct. Both pitches came when he had three balls on him and both were breaking balls outside the zone. He should have walked instead of being called out, and that is a weakness of umpires.
Many home plate umpires stand over the inside shoulder of the catcher and can’t see the outside corner, so they’re influenced by catchers that frame the pitches. That’s exactly what happened here and Chipper is right on. If umpires want to avoid criticism, they should start getting the calls right. Home plate is 17 inches wide. If balls three inches off the plate were intended to be called strikes, the plate would have been made 20 inches wide.
The fans really nailed the NL starters for the All-Star Game. I only had one complaint with the fan vote, so they must be commended for getting it right. All my other complaints are really nit-picking because the NL All-Star team was well selected. Manager Bruce Bochy was too much of a homer and included a few too many Giants pitchers, so that’s the only other issue I really have. Here are the NL All-Star team snubs (written as the player who should have made it over the one who did):
Aramis Ramirez over Placido Polanco, Chipper Jones at 3B
Fans got all the starters right except for Placido Polanco at third base. There was no real standout at the position this year but Ramirez is having the best year of all NL third basemen. He should have been the starter over Polanco and the backup over Chipper Jones. It should have gone Aramis and then either Chipper or Chase Headley as the backup.
Andrew McCutchen over Jay Bruce in OF
McCutchen misses out on his second straight All-Star game in favor of a Pirates reliever. He deserved to go last year over Evan Meek and deserves to go this year. Bruce had a major power surge in May that captured everyone’s attention but h’s cooled off since then. McCutchen, with his 12 home runs and 15 stolen bases, has been the better overall player.
Man, just when you thought the LBS Golden Sombrero Club had seen its last days, we get two players achieve the milestone in the same week … from the same team no less. A few days ago it was Braves rookie outfielder Jordan Schafer turning the trick against the Giants in the first game of the series. On Wednesday evening, it was none other than likely Hall of Famer Chipper Jones who received the honor.
Chipper went 0-for-4 in the team’s 6-3 loss, punching out all four times. He went down looking the first time and swinging the last three. His first three at-bats came against another Hall of Famer, pitcher Randy Johnson. The final K-job came against reliever Merkin Valdez. The Sombrero was particularly intriguing as far as Golden Sombreros go for several reasons. For one, this was the first time in Chipper’s 15-year career that he’s gone Golden. Secondly, he’s easily the best hitter that we’ve seen take the Sombrero since the club’s inception. Lastly, it came against Randy Johnson in the same game where the Unit earned his 299th career win. Point is although the Big Unit is 45-years-old, the lanky lefty still has some nastiness in him. Not bad for an old dude.
When I read this story, I was literally laughing out loud. Here’s Chipper Jones, high royalty in the baseball universe, and he’s telling a tale of being snubbed by a singer who made a name for herself on a TV reality show. As he told Kenny Mayne in the latest Outtakes interview from ESPN the Mag:
KM: Do you get recognized everywhere you go by now?
CJ: Funny story about that. Last year I was at the Daytona 500 with a friend and Richard Childress. Kelly Clarkson, who had sung before the race, came into the room. She walked my way, looking at me like she knew who I was, so I started to put out my hand. Then she pulls out a camera and asks me to take a photo of her and her friends. My buddy lost it. I’m from Daytona, so everybody knows me there. I was so embarrassed that I just wanted to go get a beer. Boy, was I put out.
Wow, that is just too funny. I knew his luck was going bad but I didn’t think it was that horrible. Honestly, a dude approaching .400 who’s one of the top players in the last 15 years and he’s getting hung out to dry by a reality TV star? Kenny Mayne stepping up to the plate and doing a solid job filling in for Dan Patrick on the Outtakes. Good thing SI has Patrick’s page because I enjoy his humor and the interviews they transcribe into the mag as well. Quick thing about this particular issue of ESPN the Mag with the Rays on the cover.
I think I get the diversity angle they’re taking by putting the Japanese infielder (Iwamura), the white infielder (Longoria), the black outfielder (Crawford), and the veteran closer (Percival) on the cover, but they really screwed up. How can you possibly have a cover shot of the Rays and not include one of their starters? It’s the quality innings from the pitching staff — guys like Kazmir, Garza, and Shields most notably — that has led to their success as much as anything else. But a real cover should include a team photo including the coaches and front office, because the turnaround has been on all fronts.
Just a bruise, instead. I’ve heard of some pretty weird and freak injuries occurring in baseball, but this has to be up there. How many guys get injured during batting practice? I know Nomar did — he was hit on the heel with a batted ball (though that never made any sense). But everything happens to him, so why should that surprise us? Well, because what Chipper did was, well, unprecedented.
Chipper pulled a Brickma, doing only what Daniel Stern could do. He injured himself by fouling a ball off in BP that hit the top of the cage and came back down and hit him in the face. The ball hit him just under the eye, no doubt leaving a bruise of some sort. He was taken to the hospital for a CT scan that came out fine. The good thing is that the injury couldn’t have been too serious because Chipper’s set to play in Saturday’s game. Honestly, some dudes are just like that. Chipper’s one of em. He’s not quite a Nomar, but he hasn’t played a full season in five years. I guess that means he has a DL stint in him for some point this summer. Until that day comes, he’s still mashing. Here’s to hitting .400 as part of a Hall of Fame career.